Chef John's Brazilian Fish Stew

2 cups water

1 cup uncooked white rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cloves minced garlic

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

cayenne pepper to taste

1 (14 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 red or yellow bell pepper, halved and thinly sliced

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and thinly sliced

¼ cup chopped green onion

1 ½ pounds sea bass fillets, cut into chunks

1 pinch salt

¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice


Step 1

Bring water and rice to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.


Step 2

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook and stir just until onions start to get soft, 3 or 4 minutes. Add tomato paste, garlic, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Continue cooking about 3 minutes. Pour in coconut milk and add soy sauce. When mixture starts to bubble, let it simmer about 5 minutes.


Step 3

Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, and green onions. Let mixture come back to a simmer. Transfer fish to skillet; stir. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until fish starts to flake, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add salt, cilantro, and lime juice; stir carefully to avoid breaking up the fish. Serve with rice.


Prep Time: 12 min Cook Time: 20 min Total Time: 32 min Servings: 6

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